Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be so much happier than others?

You may have noticed that some people seem happy no matter what happens to them. They have a smile for you every day. Their life can be less than ideal and they still seem content and satisfied.

And then there are others who seem miserable no matter what happens to them. Nothing seems to make them truly happy and they usually feel dissatisfied with their life.

And of course there’s everything in between.

Well, apparently there’s an explanation for this. Happy people are not necessarily having more fabulous lives. They have not necessarily had to suffer less tragedy, trauma, or drama. They have a higher happiness set-point.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of “The How of Happiness”, suggests that we all have a happiness set-point that makes up 50% of our happiness. That’s quite a lot – especially if you have a low happiness set-point. If you do, don’t worry – this is only bad news here.

The good news is that only 10% of our happiness is due to how good our life circumstances are. So if you drive a Masserati, have a beach front property, and travel first class, you could really only be 10% happier than someone living in poverty (if you have the same happiness set-point).

The good, good news is that 40% of our happiness is totally under our control. That 40% is made up of the intentional activities we do to increase our happiness. This is awesome news!

The good, good, good news is that we also know what intentional activities happy people do to keep them happy. Some of them I’ve already mentioned in another blog: 10 Simple Steps to Happiness but here are some more:

You can increase your happiness by
• Offering help to other people. This could be helping out your co-workers, talking to a lonely neighbour, volunteering, being there for your friends, or even practicing a random act of kindness to a stranger.

• Finding better ways to cope with stress. Happy people have just as much stress. They just have better ways to deal with it. Try yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. Even try telling yourself “I can cope with this” rather than telling yourself you can’t and you’re a mess, and you’re never going to get through this.

• Start BEING a good friend. Invest in relationships and watch the return on your investment. Important relationships are one of the best buffers against stress and feeling sad. Having the support of someone close to you also reduces the way stress hormones affect your body.

• Set some goals that are in line with your values and that are small and achievable, and then stick to them. Whenever you think you’ve made your goal small enough, see if you can make it even smaller. When you have it smaller, make it smaller again. If you do this a few more times, you’ll get it just about the right size. You want to be able to ACHIEVE it easily. -hat also makes it easier to stick to.

• Practice being grateful and positive. “Fake it before you make it” might be your motto on this one but if you fake it enough it will eventually become a habit and start to fill that 40% with some happy-making intentional activities.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle Hanisch is Life Coach and Psychologist. Her passion is helping people live a more creative, fulfilling, and happy life. Michelle can help you through any stage of your journey - whether you need to heal, grow or transform your life. You can find out more about Michelle at www.healgrowtransform.com.au.